Foursquare, Swarm, and why I don't mind the feature separation

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 21, 2014

Foursquare is a popular web service that provides you with information about places of interest in your vicinity and social features that help you keep in touch with friends.

When Foursquare launched its service, all of its features were bundled in a single app. You could check out interesting -- read positively rated -- places such as restaurants, museums, supermarkets or bars -- in the vicinity, get points throughout the day by checking-in to places, and also see what your friends are up to.

The company announced recently that it made the decision to launch a new application that would move many of the social features to a new application called Swarm.

That's bad news for users who used all of the features that Foursquare made available. If you have used the app for suggestions and check-ins, then you will have to use both Foursquare and Swarm to continue doing so.

While you can use one account for both, running both apps seems to be rather uncomfortable let alone problematic in terms of battery usage.

If you read user comments on Google Play (Swarm here) -- I'm using the Android Foursquare application -- then you will notice that most reviewers oppose the change for one reason or another.

The reasons mentioned the most are battery usage, and that it should be enough to use a single app and not two apps when it was previously possible to use just one for all features. Another issue that is Swarm-specific is that there is no option to control when you are checking-in.

While that is an issue for many Foursquare users who used the check-in and social feature, it is not a problem for users who have not.

If you are only interested in place recommendations or only in social interaction, then using one of the apps should not really bother you at all.

I only used Foursquare for recommendations, and there only when I was traveling. It is excellent for that as it can provide you with information that you would have a hard time coming by otherwise.

I never checked-in or used the social features of the application which is why I won't miss the features either.

Then again, if I would have used them, I would be irritated by the decision.

Are you a Foursquare user? If so, what is your take on the decision to split the app in two?


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Os said on July 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I hate the split as well. I guess I’ll just use Facebook now, and even they are splitting their app as well.

  2. dan said on July 23, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I intensely hate the split. The only things keeping me from rage quit are my tens of thousands of edits as a superuser and my numerous lists, photos and checkins. Even with all these, it’s such a frustrating experience right now that I’m seriously considering saying goodbye to what was part of my life over these 4 years.

    Screw you foursquare, you make use of our data and then kick us in our face.

  3. Thea said on July 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I’ve been using Foursquare since April 2010 and just tried checking in this morning – I’m now being forced to download Swarm, grrr… I don’t really care if my friends are nearby when I check-in… So after four years of collecting badges (64) and mayorships (26) it looks like I will be leaving this app behind – pretty ironic that I hit the four year mark, ha!

  4. israel said on July 22, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Why this amazing application called Foursquare had to be fixed if it was not broken. I resisted to download Swarm until 1 hour ago that I was forced by Foursquare to do it, otherwise I won’t be able to check-in.
    I did it, tried it and then ran into my computer to read what was supposed to be good about Swarm. I see a bunch of technical data showing me how many challenges were overcomed with Swarm and how Swarm is going to be the next generation sort of apps.

    But Foursquare programmers just got amazed with their own computer programming success and forgot why people used foursquare, and why so many companies such as restaurants, bars and shopping malls wanted to be popular on foursquare.

    Now, companies can’t give offers to their potential or frequent clients.
    Now, you are forced to be aware who is nearby and not what your best friends in the rest of the world are into. “Swamp” might be fun if you live in New York and have 100 friends living in the city and using the same app, but not in Puerto Vallarta, where I have hardly 20 active friends on foursquare and we really don’t go into the same place.
    Now, people don’t earn badges, explore new venues based on friends’ check-ins. They need to constantly switch between Foursquare and “Swamp.” That is not nice!
    Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen with superusers if people don’t place tips anymore or if they quit using the application at all.
    Now, I don’t know if I will do an effort as a bussiness to keep active with it.

    I’m sad, because I really love Foursquare, the old Foursquare. But it might be as relationships, where things change, and you have to move on…

  5. Peter said on July 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    I hate the split. I’m constantly bounced between the two. And they sucked all the fun out of checking in: removing the points and badges and global mayorships.

    I’ve stopped using Foursquare altogether. I used to use it every day.

  6. Brian said on July 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Foursquare actually started as social-only; it was after a significant number of check-ins were made that it could build its recommendation engine (because it had all this data). Most of my friends have been tepid to the split. It’ll be interesting to see what happens once you’re forced onto Swarm to do the social things.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.